Chris Squire RIP
We were thirteeen, my mate Steve and I were making the most of his parents being out by playing our records on his dad's state-of-the-art stereo system. It was 42 years ago, possibly almost to the date, and I remember Steve's cousin Mick, who was five or so years older than us and the source of our musical education in all matters underground, coming over straight from work clutching a carrier bag from Ireson's Records. Striding over to the stereo, he removed whatever we were playing, pulled this humungous weighty album out of the bag, opened its triple gatefold brown cover adorned with strange otherworldy designs and pulled out one of the three records it contained at random.
You could tell Mick was excited, and we had worked out that this package was the much anticipated triple live album by his favourite band Yes, a band then unheard by me. Placing the hastily plucked record on the Garrard record deck, the stylus slowly descending to hit the run in groove, the low-key piano and guitar hoedown beginning of Yours Is No Disgrace is quickly pummeled into shape by what would become familiar to me over the following years; the highly distinctive percussive bass playing of Chris Squire.
Although the studio version from The Yes Album highlights Squire's playing to better effect, that Yessongs Side 6, Track 1 was my introduction to Yes, a band that would figure in my playlists from that day right up to the here and now, and a band that made not only the best prog rock album, but one of the best albums regardless of genre in Close To The Edge.
Larger than life both physically and musically, Chris Squire's unique bass sound, courtesy of his boundless energy channelled through his trusty Rickenbacker, his writing and arrangement skills and his way with a vocal harmony marked him out as a truly individual talent and one that will be sorely missed by anyone who has been touched by his music. A part of our youth has died...
Chris Squire - 4th March 1948 to 28th June 2015